On May 15th, Portland voters have the chance to vote to renew the Portland Children’s Levy (Measure 26–197) and continue our funding for this important program.
The Portland Children’s Levy was created by voters in 2002 and overwhelmingly renewed in both 2008 and 2013. In the 15 years since voters first approved the levy, over $150 million has been invested in over 50 organizations. Levy funds have annually supported services for more than 14,000 children and hunger relief for more than 15,000 children. The organizations funded by the Portland Children’s Levy are committed to the following areas:
- Child abuse prevention and intervention: protecting children from terrible circumstances, which also addresses juvenile crime, school failure, drug and alcohol abuse and homeless youth.
- Early childhood programs: preparing children for success in school and making quality childcare more affordable. Ensuring that children arrive at school ready to learn also assists our schools and teachers.
- After school, summer and mentoring programs: promoting academic achievement, reducing the number of juveniles victimized by crime and increasing graduation rates.
- Children in foster care programs: giving foster children a better chance at success with educational support, mentoring and access to mental health services.
- Child hunger prevention: improving children’s access to nutritious meals, leading to better physical and mental health, as well as academic success.
A ‘yes’ vote for Measure 26–197 does not increase the rate but instead renews the levy at the same tax rate we are paying now.
A ‘yes’ vote also continues the other parts of the levy that make it both effective and accountable. The levy only supports programs that are cost-effective and proven to work. The levy is overseen by a five-member allocation committee that ensures that there are annual independent audits and that administrative expenses are limited to 5% or less—a commitment they have kept for over 15 years which allows 95 cents of every dollar to go directly to programs.
Renewing the Portland Children’s Levy is an important way to say that in Portland, we care about our kids and put that value into action every day. Please vote ‘yes’ on Measure 26–197 by May 15th. More information is available at the campaign’s website: https://voteyesforportlandschildren.org/.